Jean & David UNRally- Logging Miles & Memories

by Jean and David Hanson

David and I started our trip Saturday August 1, 2009 around 7am. Went up through Arkansas in rain showers bound for Eureka Springs Ar, we wound up in Branson Missouri after dodging storms most of the morning. We ran up 27 until Russellville then after checking wx radar on Jean’s Iphone took I-40 west bound to 21 then 16 and 7 to Jasper. Branson was very hilly and very very crowded with vacationers. We made about 400 miles the first day. Great twisty roads! Highly recommend 21, 7, 16 and 27.

Sunday August 2nd headed up thru Missouri and then Iowa, saw tons and tons of corn. We left Branson on hwy 265 (great road) a river road, great twisties and up and down hills. Soon we got on 59 which went all the way to Detroit Lakes, Mn. Stopped in Ida Grove Iowa another 400 mile day, with more great roads lots of corn fields and nice weather! In the night we had a hail storm, thought our bikes were done, but they were okay next morning.

Monday August 3rd finished our trip thru Iowa and made it into Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Weather stayed around 74 most of the trip. Our stops were mostly for gas tried to keep meals down to just snacks. We would stay for 2 days waiting for the rest of the group (Pied Piper and 3 other bikes). Another 400 mile day, finished the day by a nice ride around huge Detroit Lake on way to destination motel.

Tuesday August 4th still in Detroit Lakes rest of group should arrive in the evening, spent the day doing laundry and walking. We had the pleasure of getting to see a live concert by a steel drum band at an open park down by the lake, great timing!! The Pied Piper group got in about 9ish after 700 mile run from Red Lodge, MT. We met and greeted them went to bed for next leg of trip in the morning.

Wednesday August 5th headed for Duluth Minnesota, short trip about 200 miles, we led the group. David led us on one gravel road (thank you Mr Garmin) but more terrific roads after that. We now have 6 bikes in the group. 2 from California on 1 bike, 1 from Nevada, 2 from Utah on separate bikes and David and I on separate bikes, let the fun begin!! My little 650 (800) was keeping up with those big bikes okay!!!

Thursday August 6th, big day, now we are heading into Canada, left Minnesota, went thru Wisconsin, over to Michigan and up to Saulte Ste. Marie Ontario Canada got over the border okay, they did question David a long time tho??? Just waved me thru! This was about a 425 mile day and a really big bridge that was down to one lane…… I was the most tired this day since we had a group and you have to really be on your toes when riding in a group a long way. Met up with another couple who live in Canada just moved up there last year, they use to live in Kansas, but she is originally from Canada they are on one bike. Now we have 7 bikes.

Friday August 7th we are going to ride east thru Canada a little bit, we let the Canadians lead, you must do the speed limit, usually 100 and it is in kilometers. Don’t want to spend time in a Canadian jail for sure!! Beautiful mountains and nice roads headed for Minden Hills Ontario will stay with members from the board or the nearby motel. Arrive around 4 at the members home driveway is gravel straight up!?! Holly crap I really need a drink by now, but must keep alert! They had a great spread and the best corn EVER from Canada! Talked another member into riding my bike back down the gravel driveway whew!! Trip was about 350 miles.
Saturday August 8th headed for Old Forge, NY (in the Adirondacks) the members in Minden Hills will ride with us a little ways but are not going to New Hampshire with us. They leave us just before we get to the border, word is, getting back into the US is trickier than getting into Canada!

I almost didn’t get to come home….. I have pelican cases on my bike, they are used by the military sometimes to carry weapons great bags really tough. Border guys wanted to know exactly what I was carrying in those cases, I said underwear they said yea right and the dude proceeded in opening up my top case while I was on the bike with it running, then he asked me if I was with one of those other riders, I said yes my husband (who they had just waved thru….) so I must look scary when I’m frightened! Got thru and then the most wonderful view of the whole trip, thousand island bridge, they absolutely have a thousand islands it was so cool! Last part of the trip we did a really curvy mountain river road and I had a splitting headache but it was still a great road. Did about 300 something and lots of excitement. Oh yea did I mention the gravel driveway…. What’s the deal! We get to the driveway and I was told that I could look at it before I decide to go down it, weeeelllll they tricked me because it was flat I can do flat! No one mentioned the 2 BIG DROP OFFS and RUTS just before the house! I laid down for about an hour before I moved again! I think we did about 350 this time didn’t much care at this point anymore!!
Sunday August 9th our last destination for a few days Lancaster New Hampshire, I got back up that gravel driveway by myself did great, had rubber legs tho!! We had 11 bikes and we had broken down into two groups, one group had enough fuel to go the entire 220 miles to Lancaster, the group I was in would need to get gas before we got all the way there. 7 bikes in group one the no stop group, 4 bikes in group 2 the make at least one pit stop group. Apparently group 1 fell apart and wound up making 3 stops and breaking up into 2 smaller groups before they got to Lancaster. Our group made 1 stop and got there 45 minutes before the no stop group, same route! Went thru Vermont one scary mountain with lots of switch backs but I did okay. Got to Lancaster I was sooooo excited.

Monday August 10th going to Vermont to ride and do a tour of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory was going to ride on the back of David’s bike but a friend of ours Mrs. Whip was still waiting for her husband to arrive, she flew up. So I volunteered my back seat to her and I rode my bike. Had a very interesting day (great ice cream by the way) tour was really neat! On the way back we had to do an emergency stop did good, but I wound up having to do 2 emergency stops before we got back to the home base. Learned a good deal there my bike is a war horse!
Tuesday August 11th going to find some covered bridges to photograph, went down a foliage covered road got a little rain but I’m on the back today finally getting to take some pictures. The covered bridge was awesome beautiful country up there for sure. Headed back to home base ate at the Water Wheel. Cool place the owner was our waitress had a whoopee cake (maple) OMG!!! Later back at the Un-Rally VIII site, we had catered Clam bake with lobster for dinner brought to us from Maine. They set up and cooked it on site so cool!

Wednesday August 12th been awake since 2:30 a little food poisoning (make note be more careful while on a long trip what you eat) we are supposed to start heading back home today, looks like I may be in bed all day. Finally got my problem to stop and we packed and headed out about 10:00 drinking lots of fluids. We went thru Albany NY BIG PLACE and hot! Going to take the slab all the way home so suck it up and get on with it! Made it to Wilkes Barre PA about 390 miles did great considering I had very little sleep and problems!

Thursday August 13th feeling a lot better more super slab running pretty good, catching up on fluids and food went another 400 miles but could have done more, spent the night in Christianburg Va.

Friday August 14th still feeling good, didn’t remember Chattanooga being so big! Made 600 miles today again all slab now we are in Meridian Mississippi almost home I can smell the barn!
Saturday August 15th got home by 11:00 am thank you lord had a great trip on great bikes with great people!

Next year Un-Rally IX Sierra Nevada, July 14-16 whoopee!

BMW Gets Down and Dirty

BMW's dirt division has reason to crow...recently, BMW factory rider Andreas Lettenbichler dominated the Red Bull Romaniacs Extreme Enduro event while riding his BMW G 450 X. Lettenbichler finished the 800-kilometer enduro throughout the wilds of Transylvania with a time of 20:29:11. His next event is the extreme "Roof of Africa" in November in Lesotho, South Africa.

Yes, riding across a ROOF in Romania! They are just a different sort of crazy.

Meanwhile, on a continent far, far, away, Greg Tracy was winning the legendary Pike's Peak (Colo.) Hill Climb on a BMW HP2 Enduro. Greg covered the 12.42 mile course in 12:29 with an average speed of 59.7 MPH. Greg bested the second place rider by 23 seconds.

Just Because...

...she's so pretty in orange.

BMW's 'new' K1300S, who is feeling a little lost in the hooplah about the S1000RR power-monster.

Ferrari to Jump Into Motorcycles?

Real or an elaborate web hoax? Apparently real, a concept bike by none other than the minds at Ferrari. According to rumors, Ferrari has already named it "The Creature." I would concur.

An Arkansas Adventure of Short Duration

BMW riders are always looking for the next 'adventure' ride and recently, Steve and I found it as close as the state next door. We trailered Steve's KTM 690 Enduro and my BMW G450X to a little outpost along US 71 just a few miles north of DeQueen called Wickes, the center of the Cossatot River universe.

The Cossatot River, for those among us who are not 'floaters,' is one of those fabled cool, meandering waterways just perfect for a dip on a hot summer day. The first part of the river near Mena is perfect for inner tubing...but farther down, it flows over jagged bedrock that gives the river the moniker "the most challenging whitewater rafting float" in the state. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agrees, calling it "the most difficult whitewater stream in the state of Arkansas." Maybe that's why Native Americans first named it Cossatot, or "skull crusher." Steve and I opted out of the skull crushing. We were there to stick to dry ground and explore the hundreds of miles of logging and fire roads that cris-cross the backwoods. Free maps provided at the amazingly beautiful (do not miss this center if you travel this way. You will want to pull up a bed and live here) visitor center on Highway 278 proved only marginally useful once off main roads. However, the nice lady at the visitor center did give us dead-on directions to Wickes' very own "White House", one of those fabulous small town restaurants that cooks everything well and throws in a side of cobbler and friendliness, to boot.

After licking the cobbler plate, we set off to find forest adventure...and did, in the form of "Weyco Road," which ran north, south, east and west but never contiguously. When I complained to Steve that the mapmakers were too stupid to come up with more than one road name, he explained---slowly---that "Weyco" stood for Weyerhauser Company. Right. I knew that.
Steve searching for "Weyco Road." It's everywhere, it's everywhere!

Once we determined our route, we took off on fire roads that were gravel with some hard-packed dirt. Most were in good shape and consisted of switchbacks, long straightaways, sweeping turns, and a couple of creek fordings. The fire and logging roads are open to all motorized vehicles so you don't want to wander into the oncoming lane swinging around a blind curve, but during 5 hours of riding, we saw only 6 other vehicles. On a weekend day, the census would likely be higher. Technically, traveling offroad into the forest is not allowed, but we spotted some ATV-types doing just that. It just wasn't worth it to us, with all the great legal places to ride.

Liz at one of the Cossatot bridge crossings on the way to Weyco Road.

In addition to pretty forest and nice roads, there is an abundance of wildlife, some of which will reach out and try to touch you. Steve came very close to having the greatest motorcycling story of his life when we scared a buzzard and it nearly puked on him. (They'll do that, you know, when frightened.) Steve spotted what appeared to be a huge black wolf. We both watched as a hawk swooped down and snagged a field critter, we flushed a quail, and I swear I saw a Blue Tanager, normally only seen in South America. Hmmm. The full day of adventure began at about 7:30 a.m. and ended at about 7:30 p.m. with us taking a leisurely pace up and back. Though we had dirt bikes, these are great roads for BMW's wide stable of dual sports (the GS series, especially) with knobbies. Have some fun and plan a short adventure long on memories at the Cossatot!

Quotes to Note

While trolling around Shreveport Motor Sports prior to the club meeting the other day, I heard snippets of several conversations, one of which deserves to be chronicled. Rick and Jack were engaged in a conversation that included two quotes of note. As interesting as the quotes are can you imagine how fascinating the story behind them had to be?

"Some people are put on this earth to be a warning to others." -Rick Westerfield- Club Member

"The reason they hired that boy was to be a bad example." -Jack Goodpaster- SMS Sales

Ducati to Debut Super Scooter?

Italian spies are convinced that Ducati will unveil a "Scootster" (contraction of Scooter and Monster) at the 2009 Milan EICMA motorcycle show in early November. Some are already calling it a "Scoot-strosity." This wouldn't be the first scooter for Ducati. The company had a 100cc version in the early 1960s that died a quick death. What do you think? Good move or good grief?

BMW Offers Money Back For Member Purchases

From now until September 30th, members of BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, BMW Riders Association and Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners Club will be eligible to receive $500 back on any new BMW motorcycle. There are a number of rules and regs, but they are worth slogging through for a tidy rebate on a new ride you were already planning to add to the stable. For more information on the "Summer of Love 2009" promotion, go to:

Pricing, Options Announced for BMW S1000RR

BMW Motorrad Area and Community Manager Mark Jamroz says a lot of excitement is building in anticipation of the 'coming out' party for BMW's new super sport bike, the S1000RR. The bike should be in U.S. showrooms by December and available for customers just in time for holiday gift giving. It will be labeled a '2010' model.

The base price is $13,800 but there are several options that you may find interesting.

Race ABS - $1,000
Race ABS and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) Combined: $1,480
Gear Shift Assistant: $450
Anti Theft Alarm: $395
Motorsports Paint Scheme: $750

The Race ABS System has settings for Rain, Sport, Race and Slick conditions and adds only 5.5 lbs total weight to the bike. The S 1000 RR also introduces a new multi-stage Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) which allows smooth acceleration on wet roads, or puts down full-on power on the track and settings in between depending on the road and riding conditions BMW is understandably excited about their new superbike, which at 404 lbs, and 193 hp is being called by BMW as "the most potent, sophisticated and lightest sport bike ever unleashed on the planet and the most powerful production 1000cc sport bike in the world. " Impressive rhetoric and come early 2010, we will see what new owners have to say.

For more on the new superlight superbike, see this track video of the S1000RR

Or BMW's all-S1000RR all the time site,

Have Bike, Will Travel: Drew Heads North for a New Ride

By Drew T. Newcomer

Back in the spring, I decided to sell my Suzuki SV-650. It was a hoot to ride but I just couldn’t justify keeping it riding it no more than I had over the previous six months. After all, it was two years old with 2100 miles on it. So, I put it on and was relieved of it’s ownership about a month later. In an effort to help the economy I had been searching the internet and looking at some used Tigers and a couple of Moto Guzzi Norges. The Tiger is a great motorcycle of course, as is the Norge, but the lack of a large dealer network made me shy away from the Moto Guzzi. So, the internet search continued and I became interested in BMW’s venture into cruiserdom. I started researching and looking at some R1200Cs that were available. Can’t really say what prompted me in this direction (I can be an impulse buyer at times!) but after a small negotiation I found a 2002 R1200C in Indianapolis that I just had to spend some money on. After telling the owner it would be a couple of weeks before I could actually get there (he had no problem as long as I purchased the bike) I made an electronic transfer of the agreed amount and became the proud owner of a motorcycle I had never seen before (other than 13 photos the owner had posted on the web.)

With everything in place, I left on July 15 and flew to Indianapolis. I had to pay $15.00 for my one checked bag which set wrongly with me, but I suppose that is the nature of air travel these days. Maybe that is why I have not been on an airplane in several years. I did manage to get to Indy on time and Ly (pronounced Lee) met me at the airport and took me to dinner. He also picked me up at my hotel the next morning and took me to his warehouse where the R1200C was waiting. The bike was in immaculate shape and it took me a little while to unload my duffle bag, pack the saddlebags, then bungee what was left in the duffle bag to the pillion seat. At about 9:30 a.m., I left Carmel, Indiana and headed north on US 31 till I intersected IN 28 and turned east. I stayed on 28 to Albany, IN then headed northeast on IN 67 to Portland and IN 26. IN 26 became OH 119 at the border and I continued east. Eventually, I made my way to highway 47 and then 229 to Mount Vernon, Ohio.

From Mount Vernon, I jumped on OH 3 northeast to Loudonville, Ohio where I was ready to stop for the evening. The bike had performed very well and I was adjusting to a new riding position and a transmission (5-speed) that was geared for cruising. I also had to find the only pay phone in town to make a call since my AT&T network was useless here. I did get to the public library and managed a few emails.

The next morning, July 17, I was on the road early heading southeast on 39 towards the heart of Amish Country. The largest population of Amish in the US lives in this part of Ohio. The rolling hills provided a very nice backdrop to this enjoyable ride.

In Louisiana temperatures were sweltering, but here I had to stop and put a sweatshirt on to cut the chill. Highway 39 took me to 250 near Dover, OH where I turned further southeast heading to Wheeling, WV. Once in West Virginia, I climbed some mountains and rode through the southwest corner of Pennsylvania on my way to Oakland, MD. I rode I-79 for about 15 miles to Morgantown, the home of WVU. From Morgantown, I found WV 7 which would take me to western MD where I planned to spend the weekend. Now, I don’t know what it is about West Virginia, and as I have stated before, I think WV is pretty close to motorcycle nirvana, but it started raining soon as I got into the mountains.

So, here I am on an unfamiliar motorcycle in mountain twisties, in the rain. After putting on my Frog Togs, I continued (maybe I slowed down just a tad!!) in an easterly direction. At 12:45 I arrived at the Long Branch Saloon and Motel and was glad to get off the bike. It continued to rain for a little while, but the rain was not a problem for me now. The 250 mile ride took nearly seven hours, but I was reminded that once you get into mountains, distance takes on a whole new meaning! I stayed off the bike on Saturday and visited with my friend that had joined me from Pittsburgh. Sunday morning it was time to head home and I began my westward journey on WV 50 till I intersected I-79 near Clarksburg. I-79 took me to I-64 where I entered Kentucky. I was interested in making time so I pretty much deadheaded the way home on major highways. You know though, even riding the interstate is scenic in WV. I made it to Elizabethtown, KY Sunday afternoon and spent the night in one of the nastiest hotel rooms I have stayed in -- I don’t think it was the nastiest, but it was pretty close! I guess the $33.00/night tax included should have clued me in. Anyway, I was tired so slept fairly well and was on the Blue Grass Parkway before sunup. This road got me to Memphis where the old familiar I-55 was waiting. I was through Memphis before noon and arrived home about 5:30 that afternoon. I had done 651 miles – the longest day in the saddle I have ever spent. I was glad to get home a day early though, as I had plenty of things to do upon my return. My first distance ride via a cruiser worked out well. I like the bike and the riding position didn’t bother me at all. Of course, it doesn’t carve the corners like my R1150R but I didn’t feel cheated at any point during the week. Now I have two bikes to ride and shouldn’t have any excuse for not making a trip out-of-town on a regular basis!!

Indian Versus Indian?

Some have mentioned that it is good news that iconic Indian is in production again, but what you may not know is that Indian was in production while Indian was out of production. Say what? The incredibly talented staff at Kiwi Indian based in Riverside, Calif., was building 'current' and retro Indians the entire time the Gilroy, Calif.-based Indian Motorcycles was closed. Though Indian has new owners and a new factory in North Carolina, Kiwi continues to custom build beautiful bikes for roughly the same $$ as you would spend on a stone-stock factory bike. Given the choice, I know which one I would select.